Not long ago, large companies relied on professional data entry clerks and word processing specialists, employed to convert handwritten or typed notes, forms, and contracts into electronic documents. However, the explosion of desktop and portable PCs across nearly every kind of business has forced many professionals to consider formal Microsoft Word training. As fewer companies hire dedicated clerks and secretaries to handle daily typing tasks, workers with targeted MS Word training find themselves tapped for complex jobs and deeper professional development.
MS Word courses and certifications
Although government statistics report an overall drop in the number of jobs that require formal Office certification, Microsoft's Learning team reports that job seekers can use Word exams to prepare for demanding interviews. Basic Word certification requires candidates to understand:
- How to switch between multiple document views.
- How to protect documents from editing.
- Multiple modes of sharing and distributing documents.
- How to use illustrations and templates.
The Expert level Word certification assures that candidates can:
- Configure custom formatting, dictionary, and grammar options.
- Develop original templates and reusable formatting elements.
- Master indexes, tables, and authorities.
- Conduct mail-merge operations.
- Use forms and macros to speed up routine tasks.
Students can complete individual Word certification exams or pursue a broader Microsoft Office certification.
Top candidates for MS Word training
According to Microsoft, professionals that enjoy the most benefits from targeted MS Word training include:
- sales professionals
- writers and publishers
College students can also reap significant rewards from enrolling in MS Word courses, especially when colleges offer Word training as part of career preparation or degree programs. Developing strong workflows and formatting habits while working on reports and term papers can help students build the mastery necessary for tomorrow's key jobs.
Professions requiring MS Word training
Though Microsoft makes the case that just about anyone can benefit from some formal training on Word, the company's Learning team points out a few lines of work where word processing skills have become essential for success.
- Finance. While Wall Street firms might tend to hire spreadsheet experts, MS Word training helps analysts and managers prepare reports for both internal and external audiences.
- Law. Associates, partners, and clerks all create documents destined for clients and courts. Clients have come to expect their billable hours to include proficiency at word processing.
- Marketing. As Word has evolved into a powerful desktop publishing platform, more marketing professionals require training to cut out the middlemen between themselves and the printing press.
- Media Production. Scripts, blogs, and news articles all typically start out as empty documents using one of MS Word's standard templates.
- Medicine. Health care workers increasingly prepare reports for insurance providers using MS Word macros that shave minutes from the time it takes to report a patient's progress.
Different types of MS Word training
Because adults learn in different ways, Word courses come in a variety of formats. Students enrolled in classroom training often gain experience with some of Word's advanced collaboration tools. Training programs delivered online help students develop skills with other expert-level Word features, like tracking changes and database merge functions.
MS Word courses range from very basic sessions offered by libraries and community colleges all the way to comprehensive training programs staged at colleges, universities, and career skills centers. Even as some employers migrate their word processing chores to online platforms, graduates of MS Word training programs develop broad, transferable skills.